House to home


I am not a big believer in the metaphysical.  I don’t believe that energy emanates from inanimate objects.  However, I know that we humans are beings of energy.  The minerals that make up our bodies came from the dying gasps of stars, the celestial bodies that light the very universe.  That’s a lot of juice.  Our thoughts, feelings and memories, the building blocks of what we are now and the foundation of what we are to become, hum with electrical energy inside our skulls.  There is power within us, and that power flows outward to imbue our environment with a touch of our own life force.  Otherwise barren places become vibrant and alive, filled with Thanksgivings and Christmases and birthday parties, with the cries of babies and the laughter of children—life, ebbing and flowing, sometimes ugly, sometimes beautiful, but always bouncing haphazardly in whatever direction it chooses.

So, anyway, we moved a few weeks ago.  We had been in this place for almost 5 years.  I had looked at our full closets, at our garage packed to the ceiling with crap we hadn't looked at since the last time we moved, at our kitchen, and our utility closet with its bags of grocery bags and cans of out of date green beans that we should have donated long ago, and I almost trembled in anticipation of the coming storm. We had furniture and beds and nightstands and rugs and dog food and utensils and pots and pans and bowls and pillows and all the flotsam five years of living deposits in boxes and bags and corners and closets.  It was daunting.

The lovely Tonya held a yard sale the day before the big move.  It was marginally successful.  We made some money and got rid of some stuff, but the end result of the big moving sale was me hauling most of the boxes from the old garage to the new one.  Fortunately the new garage is a two story affair, so all that old stuff went upstairs for history buffs and archaeologists to go through a few hundred years from now. 

The move itself was every bit as horrible as I expected, like a day long dental visit with a stubborn bloody molar and no Novocain.   With the help of dear friends and family, we got through it all, and by the end of the day we were sleeping in our new home.  It was bit surreal, actually, like an almost physical turning of the page.  One day we were there, the next, here. It’s amazing just how quickly now becomes then.

We went back to the old house the next day and cleaned.  I walked through the place, starting upstairs and traveling from empty room to empty room, taking my time. It was eerily quiet, like a graveyard at noon. There were memories here, for sure:  our first Thanksgiving, my dear departed Grandpa Perry had fallen asleep on a couch in this living room while watching the Lions get their annual turkey day shellacking; another time, another holiday, we had a card party in the same place, on a long table filled with aunts and uncles and cousins and laughter and pie and coffee and leftovers; and still another time, on the occasion of Grandpa’s passing, listening to my Uncle Bob as he sat on a bar stool in the kitchen quietly telling the story of the night my father died, his brother, and how Grandpa came down the long hall way in the hospital to tell him it was time to go home.  There were smaller memories, too, like bacon and eggs and pancakes on Saturday mornings with everyone in pajamas and coffee brewing and idle conversation and no plans to speak of, other than a second cup.

These memories and many more, followed me through this suddenly quiet place, flickering like a weak flashlight.  The energy that charged them was leeched out with every photo and knick-knack that went out the door, until they held no more substance than wispy tendrils of fog writhing on the ground as the morning sun burned them away. 

Cleaning done, we closed the door on an empty house.  

Our home awaited us.